Physocarpus malvaceus
(Mallow Ninebark)
[Kuntze (Greene)]

Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Family Description: Rose

Key Characteristics:
The bark peels or shreds, thus the name, Ninebark.
leaves
flowers
fruit
  • The 3-5 lobed leaves are sharply toothed, ovate, slightly cordate, dark green adaxially, but paler and stellate pubescent abaxially.
  • The leaves are approximately 2-8 cm long and 2-8 cm wide and doubly crenate.
  • The 5-30 flowers are arranged in terminal corymbs each on a pedicel up to 2.3 cm long.
  • The hypanthium, and pistil are densely stellate pubescent.
  • The sepals vary from 2.2 to 4.6 mm long and the white petals are 3.3-6.7 mm long and 1.5-4.8 mm wide.
  • The two follicles are fused up to about ½ of their 4.9-6 mm length.

General Description:
A small shrub 0.5-2 M tall with glabrous to stellate hairy twigs of drier woodlands east of the Cascade range. The bark peels or shreds, thus the name, Ninebark.

Distribution:
South central British Columbia east through southwest Alberta southward through central Washington, eastern Oregon east of the Cascade Mountains, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and Utah.

Habitat:
Moist slopes, along streams, and moist woods, Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fir woodlands and canyon bottoms; associates are aspen, and mixed conifer stands in elevations from 1600 to 3300 meters.

Other:
This plant is sometimes cultivated where water is a limiting factor. Other than incidental browsing by big game, no uses are reported.
Photos and Information written by Dr. Karl E. Holte,© 2002